Learn how to get a loan
You can use a personal loan for nearly any purpose, but it's crucial to know what to look for to find the right one for you. Our resources give you the information you need to make an educated decision when it's time for you to take out a loan.
Borrow a lump sum and pay it back in installments
Principal is the total amount you borrow
Secured loans require collateral
4 things you need before borrowing
5 steps to get a lump sum from a lender
Learn which lender is right for you
Best of Loans
Our guides compare the top lenders that offer personal loans and break down the loan products they offer, typical rates and customer reviews.
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Best Personal Loan Companies8/4/2022
Our picks for the top personal loan companies include Best Egg, Upstart, Marcus by Goldman Sachs and Prosper. Compare rates, fees and reviews.
Best Car Loan Companies8/1/2022
Use our guide to compare the best auto loan companies. Learn about the types of car loans available, credit score requirements and more.
What is an unsecured loan?7/28/2022
An unsecured loan doesn’t require collateral. Learn about how this kind of loan works, the types and what to consider before getting one.
What is collateral?7/28/2022
Collateral is an item of value that secures a loan to protect a lender in case of borrower default. Learn more about what it is and how it works.
What is loan servicing?7/28/2022
Loan servicing is day-to-day management of a loan, often done by a third party. Learn how it works and the difference between a servicer and a lender.
What is predatory lending?7/28/2022
Predatory lending employs deceptive practices to get borrowers to take out bad loans. Read about how it works, see examples and learn how to avoid it.
Where to get a personal loan7/28/2022
The best places to get a personal loan are banks, credit unions and online lending companies. Get tips on how to choose one that works for you.
What to know before taking out a personal loan7/28/2022
From how they work to what you need to apply, read about the four things you should know before taking out a personal loan for any purpose.
What is an installment loan?7/28/2022
An installment loan is a borrowing option that lets you pay back a lump sum in monthly installments. Learn how it works and the pros and cons.
What is usury?7/28/2022
Usury is the act of charging unreasonably high interest rates to loan borrowers. Learn how it works, get examples and see what rates are usurious.
What is a simple interest loan?7/28/2022
A simple interest loan calculates interest based only on the principal. Learn how it works, get examples and weigh the pros and cons.
What is a signature loan?7/28/2022
A signature loan is a personal loan that relies only on the borrower’s signature as collateral. Find out if a signature loan is right for you.
What is a secured loan?7/28/2022
A secured loan is a loan that requires collateral from the borrower. Learn more about how these loans work, the types, and pros and cons.
What is a personal loan?7/28/2022
You can take out a personal loan for various purposes, then pay it back in monthly installments. Read more about how this kind of loan works.
What is a loan principal?7/28/2022
Loan principal is the total amount borrowed from a lender. Learn how principal works and how it impacts your monthly loan payment.
What is a line of credit?7/28/2022
A line of credit is a loan you can access as needed with a set maximum amount from a lender. Learn how it works, its uses, and pros and cons.
What is a hard money loan?7/28/2022
A hard money loan is a short-term secured loan from a nontraditional lender. Learn how it works, considerations and requirements for qualifying.
What is a creditor?7/28/2022
A creditor is an entity that lends money, often in return for charging interest and fees. Read about what it means to be in debt to a creditor.
What is a credit-builder loan?7/28/2022
A credit-builder loan helps those with no or limited credit history boost their credit so they can borrow in the future. Learn how it works.
What are loan terms?7/28/2022
Loan terms are the rules regarding the repayment of a loan (not to be confused with the term length). Learn how these work and see examples.
Types of personal loans7/28/2022
Personal loans may be right for you if you need a lump-sum infusion of cash. Before you decide, examine the types of personal loans and how they work.
Should I get a personal loan?7/28/2022
Consider a personal loan if you’re consolidating debt or funding an expense like a home remodel. Interest rates may be lower than with credit cards.
4 personal loan requirements7/28/2022
Considering taking out a personal loan? Read about the borrowing requirements, including credit score, income, debt-to-income ratio and more.
Should you get a personal loan to pay off credit card debt?7/28/2022
Using a personal loan to consolidate credit card debt can help you pay it off faster and easier, but those who need that help most may not qualify.
How to get a personal loan with bad credit7/28/2022
From checking your score to getting a co-signer, learn the four steps to getting a personal loan with bad credit — and ways to improve your credit.
How do personal loans work?7/28/2022
A personal loan is fast funding you can put toward just about any purchase. Read about how these loans work, the types and where to get one.
Can you pay off personal loans early?7/28/2022
You can always pay off a personal loan early, but it might come with a cost, depending on your lender. Learn if this is the right choice for you.
How do loans work?7/28/2022
Considering taking out a loan? From the application and approval process to funding and repayment, learn more about how loans work.
Average personal loan interest rates7/28/2022
Personal loan interest rates tend to range from 3% to 36%. Read about what affects interest rates on personal loans and how to get a good one.
How to apply for a personal loan in 5 steps7/28/2022
From gathering all the required documents and info to closing on the loan, learn how to apply for a personal loan in five simple steps.
How to calculate loan interest7/28/2022
Curious about how the interest on your loan works? Learn how interest rates are determined and how to calculate interest yourself.
How long does it take to get a personal loan?7/28/2022
With your data at their fingertips, some lenders can approve and fund a personal loan as soon as the same day you apply, but most take a few days.
How to get a personal loan7/28/2022
Need to apply for a personal loan? Follow our six simple steps on how to get a personal loan, from checking your eligibility to comparing rates.
Secured vs. unsecured loans7/28/2022
A secured loan requires some form of collateral, while an unsecured loan requires just your signature. Read more about the pros and cons of both.
Co-signing a loan: pros and cons7/28/2022
Co-signing a loan can be a good idea if your loved one has poor credit and yours is decent. However, it’s important to know what you’re getting into.
Good debt vs. bad debt7/28/2022
The difference between good debt and bad debt is whether it’s worth it to you and if you’re able to pay it off in a reasonable amount of time.
Payday loans vs. personal loans7/28/2022
Interest rates and repayment terms are the main differences between payday and personal loans. Read about other key differences before getting a loan.
Personal loan vs. credit card: Which is better?7/28/2022
Personal loans can be good for debt consolidation or large, one-time purchases, while credit cards are better for everyday shopping. Here's why.
Personal loan vs. personal line of credit7/28/2022
Looking to borrow funds for a home improvement project or other expense? Learn the difference between a personal loan and a line of credit.
Principal vs. interest7/28/2022
Loan principal is the amount you borrow, while interest is what you pay to borrow it. See how the two are calculated, which to pay off first and more.
4 best low-interest personal loans7/28/2022
Looking for lenders that offer low-interest-rate loans? Our top picks include Best Egg, SoFi, Marcus by Goldman Sachs and LightStream.
Best boat loans7/28/2022
Find and compare the best boat loans. Our top picks include LightStream, Bank of the West, OneMain Financial and Mountain America Credit Union.
Best buy now, pay later apps7/28/2022
Looking for the best buy now, pay later apps? Our top picks for this kind of financing are Sezzle, Klarna, Afterpay, Perpay and Splitit.
Best loan apps7/28/2022
We compiled the best apps that loan money to help you make it until your next paycheck. Our top picks include Earnin, Brigit and Dave.
Best motorcycle loans7/28/2022
Compare the best motorcycle loans so you can pick the right lender for you. Our top picks are Upstart, LightStream, FreedomPlus and Avant.
4 best online loans7/28/2022
Compare the best online personal loan companies to help you choose. Our top picks are Prosper, Best Egg, Marcus by Goldman Sachs and LendingClub.
Best peer-to-peer lenders7/28/2022
Interested in peer-to-peer lending? We found the best P2P marketplaces for you to compare. Top picks include Peerform, Prosper, Upstart and Kiva.
5 best personal loans for good credit7/28/2022
We compiled the best personal loans for borrowers with good credit. Our picks are Prosper, Best Egg, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Upgrade and LightStream.
5 best small personal loans7/28/2022
Find and compare lenders that offer the best small personal loans. Our top picks include Upstart, Upgrade, Fiona, PenFed and Best Egg.
Best Student Loan Companies7/28/2022
Need to pay for school? Compare our picks for top private student loan lenders. Plus, learn about different types of loans and how it all works.
Refinancing your car7/18/2022
Read about how Americans are saving when it comes to their auto finances — we surveyed more than 1,000 car owners to explore this topic.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
How to finance home renovations7/18/2022
From personal loans and credit cards to maximizing the equity in your home, we break down the top ways to pay for home renovations.
Best Car Loan Refinancing Companies7/12/2022
Use our guide to compare the best auto loan refinancing companies. Learn about rates, how refinancing works, what the requirements are and more.
What is a loan?7/1/2022
A loan is a way to get money now, but you have to pay it back, often with added costs. Learn more about different types of loans and how they work.
What is a debtor?6/24/2022
When you borrow money, you take on debt and become a debtor. Learn more about what this means and what laws protect debtors with ConsumerAffairs.
Can you borrow from an IRA?6/22/2022
In certain circumstances, you may want to withdraw money from your IRA — but that doesn’t mean you should. Learn about the process and the risks.
Are personal loans taxable?6/21/2022
Money from a personal loan is a debt, not income, so it's usually not taxed. But there are exceptions. Read our guide to understand what to expect.
Explore how 1,000 Americans are using buy now, pay later services and check out what kind of purchases they were able to make with BNPL.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
How to get a business loan4/14/2022
Searching for a business loan? Use our step-by-step process to figure out what type of loan you need, how to secure the loan and more.
Kate Williams, Ph.D.
What is a title loan?4/13/2022
Title loans are short-term, secured loans that use a vehicle’s title as collateral. You can borrow up to 25–50% of the vehicle’s value.
What is a payday loan?4/13/2022
Payday loans are small, short-term and high-interest loans that require prompt payment. Compare payday loan pros and cons to decide if it's worth it.
Student loans: Reentering repayment4/13/2022
An exploration into how student loan debtors have behaved during the payment pause and their plans for restarting repayments in May 2022.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
How to buy a car with bad credit4/13/2022
Want to know how your credit score affects your car loan? This guide will help you understand your options for buying a car with bad credit.
Kate Williams, Ph.D.
How do title loans work?4/13/2022
Title loans use a vehicle as collateral. They're easy to get short-term loans and only require a few items to qualify, including the car’s title.
How do payday loans work?4/13/2022
Payday loans let you take out small, short-term loan based on a percentage of your next paycheck, and come due (plus interest) on your next payday.
Best Payday and Title Loan Companies2/17/2022
Need quick cash? Use our guide to compare the best payday and title loan companies, research qualifications and read consumer reviews.
12 payday loan alternatives2/17/2022
Payday loans provide easy access to quick cash but come with high-interest rates. Before you apply, try these 12 alternatives to payday loans.
Best Loan Companies12/28/2021
Searching for loan options? Explore top lenders by category and location. Learn about different types of companies and how to compare them.
Best Personal Loans in Albuquerque, NM10/15/2021
The best Albuquerque personal loan companies can help you with a large purchase. Learn more about loan types, regulations and more.
Best Personal Loans in Sacramento, CA10/15/2021
If you're needing emergency funds, consider a personal loan. We compiled a list of the best Sacramento personal loan companies so you can compare lenders.
Best Personal Loans in Portland, OR10/15/2021
Need help with unexpected expenses? Be sure to read our guide to find the best Portland personal loan lenders. Learn which loan type to get and how to choose.
Best Personal Loans in Denver, CO10/15/2021
About to make a large purchase? We compiled a list of the best Denver personal loan lenders so you can compare loan types and learn the regulations.
Best Payday Loans in Cincinnati, OH10/15/2021
Need money before you get paid? Check out our guide to find the best Cincinnati payday loan companies. Learn the regulations and how to apply.
Best Personal Loans in Chicago, IL10/13/2021
Looking for a personal loan? Read our guide to find the best Chicago personal loan companies. Compare loan types and choose the right lender.
Best Personal Loans in Dallas, TX10/13/2021
Looking for some quick financial help? Read our guide to see the best Dallas personal loan companies. Compare loan types and find what's best for you.
Best Personal Loans in Austin, TX10/13/2021
Trying to find some financial help? We created a list of the best Austin personal loan lenders so you can compare offers and find the right loan.
Best Personal Loans in Los Angeles, CA10/13/2021
Needing funds for a large purchase? Read our guide to find a list of the best Los Angeles personal loan companies. Compare loan types and learn how to choose.
Best Personal Loans in Houston, TX10/13/2021
Need some emergency funds? Read our guide to find the best Houston personal loan companies and learn more about how to choose, regulations and more.
Best Personal Loans in Kansas City10/13/2021
Need funds for a big purchase? Check out our guide to find the best Kansas City personal loan companies. Compare loan types and find the right one for you.
Best Personal Loans in Indianapolis, IN10/13/2021
The best Indianapolis personal loan companies can support you when money is tight. We created a guide so you can compare loan types and learn how to choose.
Best Personal Loans in San Antonio, TX10/13/2021
Dealing with unexpected expenses? We created a guide of the best San Antonio personal loan companies. Read through to learn which type of loan is best for you.
Best Personal Loans in Orlando, FL10/13/2021
Needing additional funds? We created a guide of the best Orlando personal loan companies. Compare loan types and learn how to pick the right lender.
Best Personal Loans in Tulsa, OK10/13/2021
Need cash and have nowhere to turn? Check out our list of the best Tulsa personal loan lenders. Learn which type of loan you need and find a lender.
Best Personal Loans in Cincinnati, OH10/13/2021
Dealing with unexpected expenses? Check out our guide to find the best Cincinnati personal loan companies and learn how to pick the right loan and lender.
Best Personal Loans in Las Vegas, NV10/13/2021
Looking for funding? Read our guide to find a list of the best Las Vegas personal loan companies. Compare loan types and find what's right for you.
Best Personal Loans in Pittsburgh, PA10/13/2021
Needing some quick cash? We created a list of the best Pittsburgh personal loan companies. Learn which type of loan is best for you and what to look for.
Best Personal Loans in Atlanta, GA10/1/2021
Looking to make a big purchase? Read our guide to find the best Atlanta personal loan companies. Compare loan types to see which is best for you.
Best Personal Loans in Milwaukee, WI10/1/2021
Need help with a big purchase? We compiled a list of the best Milwaukee personal loan companies so you can compare loan types and learn how to choose a company.
Best Payday Loans in Portland, Oregon9/30/2021
Worried about an unexpected expense? Check out our guide to see the best Portland payday loan companies. Compare loan amounts, interest rates and more.
Best Payday Loans in Houston, TX9/30/2021
In need of a short term loan? Read through our guide to find the best Houston payday loan companies. Compare requirements, qualifications and interest rates.
Best Payday Loans in Tulsa, OK9/30/2021
Need quick funds? Look through our guide to see the best Tulsa payday loan companies. Compare companies' requirements, interest rates and more.
Best Payday Loans in Las Vegas, NV9/30/2021
Need help with an unexpected payment? Read our guide to see the best Las Vegas payday loan companies. Compare loan amounts, fees and learn how to apply.
Best Payday Loans in Los Angeles, CA9/30/2021
Looking for quick funds? Read our guide to see a list of the best Los Angeles payday loan companies. Compare interest rates, requirements and more.
Best Payday Loans in San Antonio, TX9/30/2021
Need a pay advance before your next check? Read our guide to find the best San Antonio payday loan companies. Learn about requirements, interest rates and more.
Best Payday Loans in Sacramento, CA9/30/2021
In need of some quick, same-day funds? Check out our guide on the best Sacramento payday loan companies. Learn about requirements, regulations and more.
Best Payday Loans in Chicago, IL9/30/2021
Looking to get quick and easy funds? Be sure to check out our guide to see the best Chicago payday loan companies. Learn about requirements and regulations.
Best Payday Loans in Austin, TX9/30/2021
Looking for some quick funds? We created a guide of the best Austin payday loan companies. Read through to compare interest rates, requirements and more.
Best Payday Loans in Dallas, TX9/30/2021
Need a quick loan until your next paycheck? Use this guide of the best Dallas payday loan companies to find out requirements and compare options.
Best Payday Loans in Milwaukee, WI9/30/2021
Needing some emergency funds? We created a list of the best Milwaukee payday loan companies so you can compare interest rates and learn the requirements.
Best Payday Loans in Denver, CO9/30/2021
Needing some emergency funds? Read this list to find the best Denver payday loan companies. Learn the requirements, laws and how to apply.
Best Payday Loans in Indianapolis, IN9/30/2021
Looking for some quick funds? We created a list of the best Indianapolis payday loan companies so you can compare rates and learn what's required.
Best Payday Loans in Kansas City, MO9/30/2021
Looking for some same-day cash? Read our guide to find the best Kansas City payday loan companies. Learn the laws regarding loans and how to get one.
Best Payday Loans in Orlando, FL9/30/2021
In need of quick cash? Check out our guide to find a list of the best Orlando payday loan companies. Learn the requirements and laws to get started.
Best Solar Financing Companies9/27/2021
Use our guide to find the best solar financing companies, read customer reviews and compare solar financing options: Solar loans, solar leases and PPAs.
Kate Williams, Ph.D.
Best Loan Modification Companies9/27/2021
Use our guide to choose the best loan modification company. Find out what a loan modification is and if you qualify. Read thousands of customer reviews.
Best Business Loan Companies9/27/2021
Compare the best business loans and financing companies using expert ratings and consumer reviews in the official ConsumerAffairs buyers guide.
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